Mogadishu, 8 April 2023 (TDI): Finland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pekka Haavisto, recently embarked on a diplomatic mission to Somalia where he held talks with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abshir Omar Jama.
During the visit, the Minister engaged in productive discussions regarding the latest developments in both the Horn of Africa and Europe, highlighting Finland’s keen interest in the region.
The officials of both countries also delved into the state of bilateral relations between Finland and Somalia, paving the way for stronger ties and cooperation in the future.
Minister Haavisto also met Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Khadija M. Almakhzoumi and international actors in Somalia.
Finland assured Somalia of its continuous support of national reconciliation, developments, and humanitarian aid.
The touched-upon discussions included Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and bilateral relations between Finland and Somalia. The officials also held meetings discussing political and peace processes in Somalia and the Horn of Africa.
The pressing issue of climate change and environmental concerns also made it to the agenda of the meetings. Finland’s Foreign Minister supported the development of political consultation between Finland and Somalia.
Foreign Minister hailed the active role of the Somalian government in its initiatives and war against terrorism. He further supported Somalia in its efforts to promote democracy and stability along with eradicating poverty.
While discussing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Foreign Minister said, ” I communicated to the Somalian state leaders the importance of Somalia supporting the international community in its efforts to end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”
Foreign Minister Haavisto also met Finns working in Somalia. He commended Finnish experts and soldiers serving in Somalia in crisis management operations of the European Union and the United Nations.
He said on the occasion, ” The Somali diaspora in Finland is doing extremely valuable work in reconstructing Somalia and promoting relations between our countries.”
Furthermore, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministries of the Environment in Finland and Somalia was signed, which was drawn up earlier this year. Foreign Minister Haavisto signed the MOU on behalf of Finland
Both countries have agreed on a close partnership to respond to the climate crisis and loss of biodiversity. Together, they have set up a trajectory to tackle environmental problems and pollution.
The aim is to strengthen the capacity of Somalia’s newly established Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.